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plexions that liked me,' and breaths that I defied nót: and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell.
- complexions that liked me) i. e, I liked. " This likes me well.” Haml. STEBVENS.
o Of this play the fable is wild and pleasing. I know not how the ladies will approve the facility with which both Rosalind and Celia give away their hearts. To Celia much
be forgiven for the heroism of her friendship. The character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comick dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of this work, Shakespeare suppressed the dialogue between the usurper and the hermit, and lost an opportunity of exhibiting a moral lesson in which he might have found matter worthy of his highest powers. JOHNSON.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
(1) be better employed, and be naught awhile] The course of the thought leads to a sense which the phrase is said to have in some provinces; and that in the North is, according to Warbur. ton, a curse equivalent to “a mischief on you," or be hanged to you!
No distinct idea can be collected from its combinations in any of the instances of it that the commentators have produced: but a similar phraseology is to be found in our author, and in other places: “ Shew your sheep-biting face, and be hanged an hour!"
M. for M. V. 1. Lucio. And Mr. M. Mason instances : “ Leave the bottle behind you, and be curst awhile.”
Ben Jonson's Barth. Fair. And Dr. Farmer says,
“ What, piper, ho! be hanged awhile," is a line of an old madrigal.
Of the phrase “ be naught” (and the addition to it cannot be considered as any thing more than expletive) B. Jonson affords instances : “ Peace, and be naught ! I think the woman's frantic!"
Tale of a Tub. « Plain boy's play “More manly would become him.
Lady. “ You would have him
New Academy The whole phrase in the text appears in an equivocal sense, as instanced by Mr. Malone from Swetman, 1620, in an address from a Chambermaid to her Mistress and her Lover:
“Get you both in, and be naught awhile;" as part of it does in Greene's Tu Quoque ; “ Nay, sister, if I stir a foot, hang me; you shall come together of yourselves and be Raught." Mr. Steevens instances the Storie of Darius, 1565.
“ Come away and be nought a whyle,
“ Or surely I will you both defyle.” (2) Him I am before] Him and us, for he and we, occur in all our early writers, and throughout Shakespeare. See Macb. V. 7. Macb. Ant. and Cl. III. 1. Ventid., and I. H. VI. Pucel. IV. 7. In the next scene we have the reverse, I for me, Le Beau, and in Haml. I. 4. Haml. “ makes we fools of nature,” for us.
(3) nearer to his reverence] More closely and directly the representative of his honours; the head of the family, and thence entitled to a larger proportion of derivative respect : so Prince Henry to his father.
“ My due from thee is this imperial crown,
" Yet reverence,
“Of place 'tween high and low." Cymb. IV. 2. “ Honor vel honos, est reverentia alicui exhibita. anglice worshyp.” Ortus Vocabulor. 4to. 1514.
It may be here worth notice, that in the novel, Saladine, the Oliver of that piece, is mentioned in these terms: “In came Saladine with his men, and seeing his brother in a browne study, and to forget his wonted reverence, thought tu shake him out of his dumps thus.” Orlando had just before said, “ Go apart, Adam; and thou shalt hear, how he will shake me up."
(4) I am no villain] The word villain is used by the elder brother, in its present meaning, for a worthless, wicked, or bloody man; by Orlando, in its original signification, for a fellow of base extraction. Johnson.
(5) gives them good leave] Ready assent.
“ Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave awhile ?
(6) in the forest of Arden] Ardenne is a forest of considerable extent in French Flanders, lying near the Meuse, and between Charlemont and Rocrov. It is mentioned by Spenser, in his Colin Clouts come home again, 1595 :
" Intó a forest wide and waste he came,
“ Not famous Ardeyri, nor foul Arlo is."
(7) fleet the time] Make to pass, let ilit or flow. “ Fleten lycour. Spumo. exspumo, despumo."
“ Musicke sent forth a pleasing sound, such as useth to fleete froin the loud trumpet.” Lord's Discoverie of the Banian Re. ligion, 4to. 1630, p. 10. See " Mediterranean flote.” Temp. I. 2. Ariel.
(8) mock the good housewife, Fortune, from her wheel] Two laughing girls, devising sports to divert melancholy thoughts, for her partiality and injurious fickleness, propose, by their rail. lery, to drive Dame Fortune from her wheel. This seems to be a clear image, and such as in their change of fortunes naturally presented itself; and on the fall and death of Antony, our author makes another lady, Cleopatra, exclaim in nearly similar terins :
“ Let me rail so high
Touch. One that old Frederick, your father, loved.
Ros. My father's love is enough to honour him enough] The modern editors, following Theobald, transfer this speech to Celia, upon the ground that Frederick, the Duke spoken of, was the name of the usurping Duke, the father of Celia. But the Clown might turn towards Rosalind, though addressed by Celia ; or might speak inaccurately: neither would it be out of character to make him do so. The answer of Rosalind, at the same time, seems to shew that it was her truly respectable father that was meant; and Mr. Malone has well observed, that there is too much of filial warmth in it for Celia imbesides, why should her father be called old Frederick ? It appears from the last scene of this play that this was the name of the younger brother. But Shakespeare might have been negligent, and have forgotten himself in the last scene; and the reader must decide for bimself.
(11) With bills on their necksknow all men by these presents] Lassels, in his Voyage of Italy, says of tutors, • Some persuade their pupils, that it is fine carrying a gun upor their necks." But what is still more, the expression is taken immediately from Lodge, who furnished our author with his plot. “ Ganimede on a day sitting with Aliena (the assumed names, as in the play,) cast up her eye, and saw where Rosader came pacing towards them with his forest-bill on his necke."
FARMER, From hence, as well as from the numerous instances supplied by Mr. Steevens, of the use of these implements in this way, it is highly probable that an allusion is here made to the undoubted usage of “bills, forest-bills, and bats," being carried on the neck; although the leading idea holden out, is manifestly that of " scrolls, or labels," with an inscription running in a legal form; and for the purpose of a conceit between presence and presents, to which the consonance or chiming of these the last words of the two speeches invited, this course was no doubt pursued.
“ The watchman's weapon,” says Mr. Douce, “ was the bill; but Stowe's Annal. p. 1040, edit. 1631, inform us, that when prentices and journeymen attended upon their masters and mistresses in the night, they went before them carrying a lanthorne and candle in their hands, and a great long club on their necks." Illustrat, II. 51.
(12) have you challenged Charles the wrestler] This wrestling match'is minutely described in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592.
(13) one out of suits with fortune] Out of suits with fortune, I believe, means, turned out of her service, and stripped of her livery. Steevens,
So afterwards Celia says, “- but turning these jests out of service, let us talk in good earnest.” Malone,
In its import it seems equivalent to “out of her books or graces." Johnson says, “ having no correspondence with," and that it is a metaphor taken from cards.
My better parts
Is but al quintain, a mere lifeless block] “My intellectual powers are prostrate, and altogether fail me; and what here stands up is no better than a mere block, a passive machine, such as a quintain."
Upon the subject of the quintain, Mr. Todd supplies the most satisfactory information. « It is an upright post, on the top of which is a cross post turned upon a pin; at one end of the cross post was a broad board, and at the other a heavy sand-bag. The